Mehmet Görmez, the head of Turkey's state-run Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB) criticized U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump and Pope Francis for their remarks on Muslims and a "third world war."
Speaking during a meeting in Ankara with Sharik Zafar, special representative to Muslim communities at the U.S. Department of State, Görmez urged for putting "a problem with humanity" at the forefront instead of blaming any one religion for what is happening in the world today. "Religions are for a better management of the world, for coexistence in peace and for rule of justice, mercy and prosperity. But people can reshape religions to serve their own purposes and turn them into means for violence," he said.
Görmez said secularism surpassed religion as something people exploit for their own interests and has led to wars. "People used science to develop atomic bombs, chemical weapons. Much more people have died in the wars of the modern times compared to the number of people lost in wars before 20th century. Yet, there is talk of a third war. Even the pope makes such a statement about a third world war," he said. Lately, Pope Francis has brought up the start of "a piecemeal World War III" and his latest remarks to that extent came after the November terrorist attacks in Paris. The pope has said there was "no religious or human justification for it" but his remarks invoked criticism as he spoke about war instead of peace at a time of heightened terror attacks by DAESH, which claims to represent true Islam, to the chagrin of millions of other Muslims.
Mehmet Görmez also lashed out at Donald Trump, real estate mogul turned presidential candidate, for his call to bar all Muslims from entering the United States. "In a country like the United States, presidential candidates can say things like ‘we will not allow Muslims into the United States.' It is not right to blame any particular nation and religion. Here in this region, we suffer greatly and it is not only because of what terrorist groups like DAESH did. This suffering is a consequence of what global powers did here by turning this region into a conflict zone," he said.
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